Disfigured gunman apologizes

Posted: November 14, 2011

Edward Wilson, the West Philadelphia man who shot off part of his face after using the same shotgun to murder his ex-girlfriend in March 2009, on Monday said he was sorry - as best he could.

Common Pleas Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi then sentenced the disfigured man to 15 to 30 years in state prison.

In July, a jury found Wilson, 58, guilty of third-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime for murdering Antoinette Austin, 26, who had been his live-in girlfriend for eight years before they broke up in October 2008.

Assistant District Attorney James Berardinelli, who argued at trial for a first-degree murder conviction, which carries a life sentence, told the jury Wilson used a rubber $10,000 check to lure Austin to meet with him and snapped when she refused to reconcile.

Wilson shot Austin in the ribs at the edge of the Cobbs Creek Golf Course, near 75th Street and Lansdowne Avenue, then went home and shot himself during a standoff with police.

"While the sentence isn't exactly what we asked for, it is a very substantial sentence and, given his age, it should keep him behind bars for the rest of his life," said Berardinelli, who asked the judge to give Wilson the maximum sentence of 22 1/2 to 45 years.

"It is what it is. It won't bring my daughter back, but we'll try to move on," said Pam Austin, the victim's mother.

During the trial, defense attorney Thomas Burke argued for a voluntary-manslaughter conviction, contending that Wilson acted out of passion and meant only to kill himself.

|
|
|
|
|